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NJ’s first-ever boardwalk (dating back to 1870) has become synonymous with gambling, but the city is working hard to make it more family-friendly. Steel Pier features rides, shopping and a free beach. And the kids will love Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum.
Maryland’s Ocean City gets a lot of attention, but the one in NJ has tons to offer, too. Playland’s Castaway Cove has family-friendly rides, pirate-themed mini golf and go-karts. Bigger kids can brave the Gale Force rollercoaster. Or you can opt for Gillian’s Wonderland Pier for rides perfect for little ones and indoor attractions ideal for cloudy days.
Jenkinson’s Pier is jam-packed with fun stuff to do. There are arcade games and mini golf, plus a popular aquarium. The amusement park (pictured above) is filled with topsy-turvy rides and fun spots to eat. Known for its nightlife, it’s chock-full of spots for drinks and dancing sans kids.
This boardwalk was hit hard during Hurricane Sandy, but it’s making a comeback. While Funtown Pier is unlikely to reopen any time soon (after the hurricane and a subsequent fire), Casino Pier is thriving and just opened a new Ferris wheel and Hydrus roller coaster, which replaced the one that was washed into the ocean.
There’s a lot happening along Wildwood’s massive boardwalk, including carnival games, water parks and mini golf, but the biggest star is Morey’s Piers. There are three separate piers to explore (you have to walk a bit between them, so bring a stroller for the little ones). Surfsider Pier has a water park and some great kiddie rides. Mariner’s Pier features the Giant Wheel and Adventure Pier has lots of super-scary thrill rides. And there’s plenty of pier food to snack on, too.